Redoute’s Choice celebrates his 160th stakeswinner

Soon after his grandson Showtime won the P.B. Lawrence S. G2 at Caulfield, Redoute’s Choice himself took the stage, when his son Super Maxi became his 160th stakeswinner…

Soon after his grandson Showtime won the P.B. Lawrence S. G2 at Caulfield, Redoute’s Choice himself took the stage, when his son Super Maxi became his 160th stakeswinner.

The 5YO gelding capped a good winter campaign in with a convincing, all-the-way victory in the  $100,000 WATC Belmont Newmarket 1200m LR, defeating Yeah Dardy and Rebel King.

It was his first success beyond 1100 metres which puts a Perth summer sprint campaign on the cards. 

Watch Super Maxi win the WATC Belmont Newmarket LR.

Team Hawkes have prepared both horses, with Showtime among their current stars, and Super Maxi the winner of four races as a 3YO in Sydney for Arrowfield and Wayne McGuire. 

Super Maxi was then sold to Perth trainer Chris Gangemi who has enjoyed considerable success with Arrowfield stable graduates, notably the multiple Group winner and Group 1 performer Rock Magic (also by Redoute’s Choice).

Super Maxi was bred by Dr Dennis Bowden, David Goldfinch & Wayne McGuire from their fine racemare Ocean Challenger (by Rubiton), whose eight wins included the 2011 MVRC Tesio S. G3.

The yearling Super Maxi, now his sire’s 160th and his dam’s first stakeswinner. (PHOTO: Arrowfield Stud

The mare has an unraced full brother to Super Maxi, bought for $100,000 by Gangemi and Cameron Cooke Bloodstock from the Lyndhurst Farm draft at the 2017 New Zealand Premier Sale. 

The 2YO Olympic Glory-Ocean Challenger filly was also a $100,000 purchase, this time by Paul Perry from the 2018 Inglis Easter Sale.

A few hours after Super Maxi’s stakes win, Ocean Challenger delivered his three-quarter sister by Scissor Kick and she will be served this Spring by Pariah, the latest addition to Arrowfield’s dynamic dynasty.

Redoute’s Choice had 14 stakeswinners in Australia, France, England and New Zealand last season, has just clicked over 1000 winners and his 160 stakeswinners maintain his world-class 12% SW/Runners strike rate.

Although the mighty Champion Sire’s influence is now exercised principally through his dynasty of sensational sire sons and priceless broodmare daughters, his own extraordinary record is far from complete.

Showtime stars in Caulfield feature

Snitzel’s classy son Showtime added a second Group 2 victory to his CV  with a defiant performance in Saturday’s $200,000 MRC P.B. Lawrence S. G2 over 1400 metres at Caulfield… 

Snitzel’s classy son Showtime added a second Group 2 victory to his CV  with a defiant performance in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature at Caulfield, the $200,000 MRC P.B. Lawrence S. 1400m G2. 

The 4YO entire began well and tussled for the lead before taking a sit behind Jungle Edge, then pushing forward to challenge after the turn. 

Showtime found plenty in the fight to the line, applying high-cruise pressure and resolute determination to draw clear over the final 100 metres and defeat last year’s P.B. Lawrence winner Hartnell by almost a half-length with Widgee Turf third.

“It took us a little bit to get back from Jungle Edge and get away from him.  He did a good job to overcome that then fight it out in the straight. It was a good effort.” – jockey Dwayne Dunn on Showtime

Watch Showtime win the MRC P.B. Lawrence S. G2.

Add his MVRC Stutt S. G2 win, Group 1 placings behind Trapeze Artist & Brave Smash last season, good juvenile form, arresting good looks and top-drawer pedigree, and Showtime is already well-qualified for a stud career.

However, he has more to achieve on the track first, and the $1 million Memsie Stakes G1, also over 1400 metres at Caulfield on 1 September, is Showtime’s next target.

The $1.1 million yearling now known as dual Group 2 winner Showtime. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Showtime is a result of Arrowfield’s highly successful, 20 year-old joint breeding venture with Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm. Sold by Arrowfield for $1.1 million at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale, he is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes for both his breeders, in partnership with Alan Jones, Jonathan Munz, Greg & Barb Ingham and Eric & Georgina Koundouris.

His dam Flidais (by Timber Country), a Group-placed daughter of dual Group 1 winner Electronic, has proved a gem at stud, generating more  than $4 million of yearling sale returns and leaving Showtime, his splendid Group 1-winning sister Sweet Idea and Malaysian stakeswinner Rush (by Charge Forward).

The $1.8 million Snitzel-Flidais filly sold to Reg Inglis, Jon Kelly & Paul Frampton at this year’s Magic Millions Sale has been named Evening Slippers and is in training with Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.  Flidais is due to foal again to the two-time Champion Sire in September and will be making a return visit to his court.

Showtime and last weekend’s ATC The Rosebud LR winner Sandbar have given Snitzel a quick start to the season and taken his career tally of progeny stakes wins to 162.

Arrowfield’s tribute to Nick Columb

John & Kris Messara, Paul & Alice Messara and the entire Arrowfield team join many thoroughbred industry people around the world to mourn the death of our great friend Nick Columb on 10 August…

John & Kris Messara, Paul & Alice Messara and the entire Arrowfield team join many thoroughbred industry people around the world to mourn the death of our great friend Nick Columb, in Girona, Spain on 10 August after suffering a stroke ten days earlier.

Of course, this would be much more entertaining and scandalous if Nick was still here telling us about his own drama-filled life, as he so often did in hilarious, sharply observed episodes. It’s some consolation for us that Paul Messara and Martin Story spent a few days in Japan last month with Nick at his entertaining best, holding court and telling outrageous stories in his inimitable style. 

Nick’s ability to rise again from failure, change tack and adapt to different times and opportunities meant that people met and knew him in several thoroughbred industry roles: as the stunningly successful high-rolling owner and buyer of the 1980s, the energetic owners’ advocate of the 1980s and 1990s, and the globe-trotting bloodstock consultant of recent years. Yet they only hint at the significant impact he had on the Australian and international racing community and on the many people who have paid tribute to him.

John Messara says, “Nick Columb was the staunchest friend, always fearless, constantly innovative and deeply passionate about horse racing and so much else. He leaves an unfillable gap in Arrowfield’s world, and so many good memories and reasons to be grateful for his incomparable life.”

The high drama of Nick’s life began just after World War II in Bucharest when his parents and the infant Nick fled from the Soviet occupation of Romania, eventually emigrating to Australia in the early 1950s. 

Educated at Brighton Grammar School, Nick attended the Law Faculty at Monash University for two years until, as he explained, he “started falling asleep in lectures.” A cadetship at the Melbourne Herald (now the Herald-Sun) followed and he worked as a journalist there for almost ten years, covering crime, the Courts and all sports, including racing.

After a period as the National Marketing Director for the George Patterson Advertising Agency, Nick launched his own successful business, eventually investing in a pub, private hospitals and the Morning Star Estate at Mount Eliza.

His passion for the turf was sparked, as it was for so many in that generation, by Saturdays spent with his punting father at the races and at 18 Nick leased his first “hopelessly slow” horse with a couple of mates. Some years later he bought a filly named Teversham who did a little better, being denied victory at the Avoca Picnic Races only by a judge who awarded the race to his cousin’s horse. At least, that’s how Nick told it!

Undaunted, he persisted in racehorse ownership, through an expensive and very fast Vain colt who suffered knee chips, a share in Full On Aces and success in the 1981 Golden Slipper and AJC Sires’ Produce and the purchase of a horse from a drunken Kiwi one night in a Melbourne bar. Syndicated with the help of Tommy Smith, that horse was Little Brown Jug (he raced as My Brown Jug in Australia) who won the St George and the Alister Clark and famously savaged Manikato in the C.F. Orr.

Then along came the first of the horses that elevated Nick’s profile an owner and cemented his long friendship with trainer Ross McDonald. That horse was Magari, who swept through the 1982 Melbourne Spring Carnival winning what are now the Sir Rupert Clarke, the Toorak and the Cantala Stakes.

Nick bought Magari’s dam Aurea in foal to Century and with a Century filly at foot that raced as Centaurea and gave Nick one of his biggest thrills when she won the 1985 Australasian Oaks, ridden by Lester Piggott.

This was a golden era for Nick as an owner and he visited the Group 1 winner’s circle regularly over the next few years, thanks to three spectacular fillies, all bought at the New Zealand yearling sales.

Courtza carried Nick Columb’s famous colours to victory in the 1989 Golden Slipper G1. (PHOTO: Martin King, Sportpix)

Tristarc (Sir Tristram-Renarc) took 14 races to break her maiden, but eventually won five Group 1 events including the 1985 Australian Derby and Caulfield Cup. Million-dollar earner Imposera (Imposing-Calera) won the 1988 Australasian Oaks and Caulfield Cup and a year later Courtza (Pompeii Court-Hunza) earned 2YO Championship honours after completing the Blue Diamond-Golden Slipper double. 

The crash of the early 1990s slowed Nick’s activity as an owner, but not his advocacy on behalf of Victorian and Australian owners, a task he pursued with typical vigour. His philosophy was simple: “Without owners there is no racing. We ‘feed’ everyone – trainers, jockeys, strappers, vets, float drivers, grain merchants and race club committees. Without horses out on the tracks there’d be nothing to bet on. Indeed, all we’d see is grass growing!”

Although he later said it was “mostly banging my head up against closed officialdom’s doors”, Nick’s 15 years as Chairman of The Racehorse Owners’ Association (TROA) were far from fruitless. The SuperVOBIS Scheme, current owners’ privileges and facilities and wider distribution of prizemoney are all achievements to which Nick, among others, contributed.

Nick’s experience as a buyer of bloodstock, his vast network of industry contacts and deep understanding of the thoroughbred business led him to his last professional role as the head of Hong Jockey Club’s purchasing team for the Hong Kong International Sale.  The strong growth of that Sale and graduates including Champion Stayer & dual Group 1 winner Pakistan Star are results that Nick and his colleagues rightly celebrated.

Nick had many passions outside racing, notably the Western Bulldogs (formerly Footscray) AFL Club. He spent almost a decade on the Club’s board and, despite a turbulent year as President in 1989, he remained a loyal Bulldogs fan. (They defeated North Melbourne 92-85 on Sunday which would have pleased him!)  

A flirtation with city politics gave Melbourne the opportunity to elect a really interesting Lord Mayor in 2008, but as he always did, Nick rose above the failure of that campaign and continued to enjoy life, racing, football, friends, family and the other things he loved: “travel; good music; fine food and great red wine; and above-average sheilas.”

Nick is survived by his children Adrian, Georgia & Nick with his first wife Bev, Raphaela & Romany with his second wife Rosanne, and grandson Charlie.

Rosebud victory opens Snitzel’s season, again

Sandbar’s gritty victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Rosebud H. LR looks very much like a good omen for Snitzel’s 2018/19 season, if recent history means anything…

Sandbar’s gritty victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Rosebud H. 1100m LR looks very much like a good omen for Snitzel’s 2018/19 season, if recent history means anything. 

Watch Sandbar’s win in the ATC Rosebud H. LR.

The neatly made colt is the third son of Snitzel to win the race in the past three years. Thronum won it in 2016 and Menari won it last year, each success kicking off a spectacular Championship season for their sire, now going for his third consecutive title. 

Sandbar’s five-start 2YO campaign added two wins, including a Listed 2YO success, and a Slipper eighth to Snitzel’s record-breaking 2017/18 season. Trainer Brad Widdup has justifiable confidence in the colt’s Golden Rose G1 prospects.

He says, “He’s a tough horse. He’s shown it all along. Last time in he had a long campaign and to get to the Slipper was a great effort.

“He’s come back and won off only one trial and a gallop at Warwick Farm. He’s just a very honest little fella.

“We’ve got a couple of options now. It’s nice to get this win out of the way.”

Bred by Strawberry Hill Stud from the Group-winning Street Cry mare Tallow, Sandbar was bought for $650,000 from the 2017 Magic Millions Sale by Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing, BK Racing & Gerald Ryan. Tallow has a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt.

This is the 5th straight season that Snitzel has notched up his first stakeswinner inside the first fortnight, and Sandbar is his 42nd winner of a 3YO stakes race.

Arrowfield’s best moments in a milestone season

It’s no easy task to choose the 10 – make that 11 – best moments from a milestone season in Arrowfield’s 33-year history, but here’s a spirited attempt…

It’s no easy task to choose the 10 – make that 11 – best moments from a milestone season in Arrowfield’s 33-year history, but here’s a spirited attempt, in chronological order:

Pariah joined General Nediym, Testa Rossa, Charge Forward & Snitzerland on the San Domenico G3 winners’ list. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Pariah at Rosehill, 26 August 2017
Team Arrowfield was busy hosting their annual Stallion Open House, and gathered around the marquee TV to watch star colt Pariah run in the ATC San Domenico S. G3. Arrowfield had bought back into Pariah after his Group-winning 2YO campaign for James Harron & partners, and his sparkling 3YO debut was greeted with jubilation. A year later Pariah has joined the Redoute’s Choice dynasty at Arrowfield and will parade at the Open House, 24-26 August.
Watch the Arrowfield team cheer Pariah home in the San Domenico S. G3.


Triple Crown syndicators Michael & Chris Ward celebrate Redzel’s superlative Everest victory. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Redzel at Randwick, 14 October 2017
The Everest was an instant hit with owners, trainers, punters, media, racegoers and that elusive beast, the general public. Redzel launched the race with a classic demonstration of unyielding powerhouse Aussie speed and sparked exuberant celebrations by his Triple Crown owners, slot-holder James Harron & partners and the Snowden stable. Snitzel had already established a decent lead on the General Sires’ list, but after The Everest he shot clear by $6.6 million and was not sighted by his rivals for the rest of the season.


The Mick Price-trained Mighty Boss gave Teeley Assets a second Caulfield Guineas win, after Redoute’s Choice in 1999. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

Not A Single Doubt’s big day, 14 October 2017
Everest Day turned out to be huge for Not A Single Doubt too. Upset Caulfield Guineas G1 winner Mighty Boss, Group 3 winner Cool Passion and Listed winners Qafila and Torvill gave him the first quadruple stakes day of his career – and all four horses were new stakeswinners. Not A Single Doubt ended a tremendous year with a career-high season tally of 16 stakeswinners and 6th spot on the Australian Premiership, his fourth top 10 finish.


Smiles all round from Tom Dabernig, David Hayes & Ben Hayes after Boom Time’s Caulfield Cup victory. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Caulfield Cup quinella, 21 October 2017
He started at 50/1 and she was 30/1 – neither given any serious chance of beating horses like Humidor, Johannes Vermeer, Bonneval and Harlem in  the $3 million Caulfield Cup G1. But no-one conveyed that message to Flying Spur’s son Boom Time or Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Single Gaze, and home they rolled, for the season’s most unexpected Group 1 quinella. It was also the perfect sign-off for Champion Sire Flying Spur, who died at Arrowfield in May, at the age of 25. 


Star filly Shoals held off a quality field of mares in the VRC Myer Classic G1. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Shoals at Flemington, 4 November 2017
Late on 16 August 2014, John Messara shared a photo of the newborn Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore filly with the prediction that she would be a star. Three years later the filly, named Shoals, fulfilled that prophecy with an exhilarating victory in the VRC Myer Classic G1 for her owner-breeders Arrowfield and Jonathan Munz’s Pinecliff Racing, and trainer Anthony Freedman. Further success in the ATC Surround S. G1 and SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1 stamped Shoals as an exceptional talent worthy of The Star’s slot in this season’s running of The Everest. 


The Snitzel-Flidais filly will race as Evening Slippers from the Waterhouse & Bott stable. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, 10-14 January 2018
Arrowfield ended the record-breaking Sale with its all-time highest Magic Millions aggregate of $14.1 million, heading the Vendor list for the third successive year. Arrowfield’s $1.8 million Snitzel-Flidais filly was the Sale’s and her sire’s top-priced filly, and Snitzel led the Magic Million Sires table for the first time with 33 lots sold at an average price of $483,788. The Stud also sold the 75th million-dollar yearling by Redoute’s Choice and the $600,000 Olympic Glory-Downtown Manhattan colt.


Dr Shalabh Sahu, Hussain Lootah, Tariq Al Shamsi, Saif Al Ketbi and Bryan Carlson celebrate Estijaab’s victory in the 2018 Golden Slipper G1. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The Golden Slipper, Rosehill, 24 March 2018
Snitzerland was 2nd in 2012, Sweet Idea was 3rd in 2013 and then along came Estijaab to add that precious first Golden Slipper victory to Snitzel’s progeny record – and the 7th by an Arrowfield graduate. Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, raised and sold by Arrowfield, bought at Inglis Easter by Emirates Park and Bryan Carlson for $1.7 million and trained by Team Hawkes, Estijaab was the perfect poster girl for Arrowfield’s much admired “A Diamond is Forever” marketing campaign.


Dundeel’s 2YO son Irukandji earned Group-winning status at his fourth start. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Irukandji wins for Dundeel, Rosehill, 31 March 2018
A first-crop 2YO Group winner is always on the wish-list for a young sire and Spendthrift Farm’s Hawkes-trained colt Irukandji came through for Dundeel with a convincing victory in the ATC T.L. Baillieu S. G3. Irukandji has been a headliner from the start, as a $240,000 weanling, and $500,000 pin-hook result at Magic Millions, and there may be more headlines to come – he is nominated for the ATC Golden Rose G1 on 22 September.


Trapeze Artist & Redzel finished 6 & 4 lengths clear of their rivals in the ATC T.J. Smith S. G1. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

The T.J. Smith G1 quinella,  Randwick, 7 April 2018
Snitzel posted two Group 1 quinellas in 2017/18 and both were among the season’s most thrilling finishes. Russian Revolution and Snitty Kitty were terrific in the Oakleigh Plate, but 3YO Trapeze Artist’s performance to launch from a wide run and sweep past a top-of-his-game Redzel in the $2.5 million T.J. Smith was of seldom-seen quality. A return match in The Everest this October is something to savour.


The $2.3 million brother to Shoals was 2018’s top-priced yearling sold in Australia. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Inglis Easter Sale, Sydney,
9-11 April 2018

Arrowfield celebrated the first Easter Sale held at the new Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm with a rarely achieved double: the highest aggregate (just over $20 million) and the highest average ($488,658). Leading vendor status for the fourth consecutive year, the top-priced $2.3 million brother to Shoals and 7 other million-dollar yearlings – including two daughters of Deep Impact – sealed an outstanding sales season for the Stud’s dedicated team and many very happy clients.


The Autumn Sun is out of Azmiyna, a Galileo half-sister to European champion Azamour. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The Autumn Sun, Doomben,
9 June 2018
A Redoute’s Choice colt opened the best of Arrowfield’s season and a Redoute’s Choice colt closed it when The Autumn Sun drew clear of Zousain in the BRC J.J. Atkins Plate G1, becoming his mighty sire’s 33rd Group 1 winner, and his 9th Group 1 2YO winner. Another exciting prospect for 2018/19, The Autumn Sun capped a fine year for Arrowfield’s joint venture with the Aga Khan Studs, which also sold his three-quarter sister for $1.3 million at Inglis Easter.